take back the sod??????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Oct 29, 2002.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    am i heartless? ok, heres the scene: a grass cutting customer calls tuesday and asks if i could lay some sod at her moms gravesite, it must be done by sunday. small job(120 sq ft) , i am busy as heck, but i tell her ill make sure it gets done. she proceeds to call me every freakin day, saying she went up there and it wasnt done, i tell her to chill, it will be done by sat afternoon. now, 120 sq ft of sod doesnt make me crap, this is more like a cortousy call with a little pocket change. then she calls and says she bought some mums , can i pass by the house and pick them up and plant them at the sight. now im getting a little pissy. ok, so she comes to the sight originally and i take a measurement, thats how i arrive at 120 sq feet. now, sat morning, in the rain, i go pick up her ugly mums, and go lay the sod. she calls sat afternoon and says how cum i didnt finish? im about had it with this loon, i didnt even call her back. she persists, calling me over and over again, finally, i call her back, she says i didnt go to the full borders of the sight, i tell her she was right there when i measured, it was 120 sq feet, and thats what she got. she insists i go back NOW, and she will meet me there to tell me what she wants, i tell her im watching football, drinking beer, and anyway i cant get anymore sod, i need to order it in advance. she freaks, tells me not to cut the lawn any more, and she will not pay our agreed price for the sod. i tell her to calm down, it was a misunderstanding in the borders of the sight, we will get together during the week and ill take care of it. she insists ITS RIGHT NOW, OR NOT AT ALL. i say fine, not at all. now i just want to get paid, she says she wont pay, im thinking ill go to the cemetary and take back my sod. good idea? bad idea? any input anyone?
     
  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Definitely a really bad idea to go back and take the sod. If you're going back there anyway, you should probably just finish the job. Then you'll probably get your money. But regardless, it's the best thing to do.

    It's hard to imagine what people go through when they lose a parent. I know because I recently lost my father a few months back. I am a tough guy and I always thought people were overdoing it (about mourning) when relatives died. But until it happens to you - you have no idea what it's like. So she's not thinking real clearly right now. That's for sure. I know I wasn't. Further, she is expecting that everyone just inately understand how she's feeling and just help her out without questioning her. I can understand that too. During the week of my dad's funeral I had so many things to do it would blow your mind. And I was delegating and asking people for all sorts of favors. Fortunately for me, everyone was happy to help wherever they could.

    As a child of the deceased, tons of decisions and responsibilities hit you all of a sudden like a ton of bricks. And most of them need done - NOW! It is a lot to deal with. And your main goal is just to make sure everything goes perfect because you feel like if you don't do it all right, your dishonoring the person who died. It's like the last testament to the person who died and you want to make sure it all goes perfect and that you don't have any regrets later.

    I hope that lends a little insight into how she feels. I know she may be irrational and overdemanding but at a time like this, most of all, it's understandable.

    I'd appologize and get back out there and finish the job. If she still fires you, well, so be it. But at least then you did the right thing. And God doesn't forget that stuff.
     
  3. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    You can't take back the sod. The reason-This poor lady who just lost her mother is being taken advantage of by some darn redneck. At least that is what she will tell her friends. And who knows maybe one of her good friends is your best customer. Just tell her that the work was performed, you are very sorry for her loss, but you still expect to be paid.
     
  4. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    Just go back and fix it and tell her that you are very sorry for the misunderstanding. "Kill her with kindness" When customers get irrate with me over something little I try to be the most polite person in the world right back to them. Tell them how nice of a customer that they have benn etc etc.. It is sarcastic in my head but I make sure that it comes out genuine to them. They usually see how foolish and rude they are being and apoligize right away. Make sure in the future to properly make the area that is to be done. We do this with the customer for new mulch beds. We mark off the new area with flags and do the job that way they don't just come out and say that you were supposed to make that bed out to here. Call backs are the worst but when money is owed to us we are kind of cought in a perdictiment. Fix the job get your money and don't work for her again if you choose later.
     
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i do feel for her loss(but her mom died 7 yrs ago) . i used to do tons of "nice, considerate " things for people. it gave me personal satisfaction to be nice, and i thought i was scoring points with the man upstairs also. only problem is, its a cruel world boys, and i always get burned when i am "too nice". then it comes back to haunt me, tossing in my bed at night thinkin about this person sticking me, doing to me what i would not do to someone else. ok, give me a bottom line here, if customer says DO NOT FINISH THE SOD, and refuses to pay, do u take yur sod back? i cant go finish it if she tells me not to. it only cost $25 for the sod, and 2 hrs labor from my help, totaling $49. not to mention my time and my getting a wet *** in the rain.
     
  6. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    Call her and insists that you need payment and if payment is not paid in full by some date you will be forced to remove the sod. I have never had to reposses materials. YOu will not be making any money back by removing the sod right? Are you doing this just to screw them over? Will you really feel better at the end?
     
  7. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Okay, at first I felt bad, I thought it was a recent loss and there was some kind of ceremony or something on a Sunday (thats why she gave you the deadline)

    Once you said her mom died 7 years ago, I'm thinking a little bit differently. I still say that I wouldn't go pick up $25 worth of sod from a cemetary......its just not right. I would try to call her and explain the situation again, and maybe ask if you can make things better. Hopefully she'll let you finish the job and then you'll get paid.

    So, really, unless your going to go pull the sod, the only way your going to get paid is to call her and work things out so you can finish the job (to her specs).

    I know what your going through and it sucks, but thats life in a customer service oriented business, right?

    Sorry Man!
     
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Yah, what David said.

    She died 7 years ago??? That kinda changes things.
     
  9. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    i've threatened to take back sod, soil, plants. so far i have always gotten the money. but if i didn't i would have followed thru. some people are unreasonable.

    she stole from you if you don't get the money. and you now say it keeps you up at night. ifi wanted that i'd get a desk job at a bank.

    only you know what type of person she is. if she was previously a good customer, and you think she'll pay if you finish the job, then do it.

    if she has always been a pita then if i were you i would take it back. and yes, just to spite her.

    i may sound like a jerk, but do i sound like as big as a jerk as this lady????
     
  10. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,666

    Give her a deadline to pay up and tell her you will go get the sod, and,dig up the flowers and leave them at her house if she does not pay. Business is business. You just can't be nice to some people as they just take advantage of you.:angry:
     

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